Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey
The Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey is made in Kelso, Tennessee in an old Scottish-type Pot Still and aged in New Charred Oak Barrels. The barrels that are used are small 15 gallon sized and heavy char white oak. They give the color and flavor to the whiskey a little faster than the typical 60 gallon barrels used in Kentucky. Since it is "Straight Whiskey" it is aged at least two years in barrel per rules in the USA. Prichard's ages his about 4 years or "when it's ready", as he says.
While there are no specific rules for making Tennessee Whiskey other than produced in Tennessee, the unwritten rule is that it is made using a similar method as Bourbon, which is the most regulated whiskey in America as whiskey making rules go. Prichard's uses Tennessee White Corn, milled at the old stone mill across the highway from their tiny distillery in an old Kelso, Tennessee schoolhouse. (This old mill is an historic site and uses the origional granite stones.) While Phil Prichard will not reveal his Mash Bill (no distiller will), the whiskey is made up of over 60% White Corn, a little rye, and whatever Phil is not saying. The water, which is very important as it must be Iron-free, comes from the same source as Jack Daniels, only about 30 miles sooner. There is no charcoal filtering of the whiskey as Phil feels that this takes away certain essential oils which aid in the taste of the whiskey. (JD's charcoal process is unique to them but NOT required by Law)
He also produces a Lincoln County Lightning which is a 'White-Dog' product from essentially the same recipe as the Tennessee Whiskey. If you try it you will find a strong "sweet corn" nose and mid-pallet that is extremely smooth for a product like this. Compare it to some of the White-Dog from other distillers and you can immediately taste the difference in the quality of the Lincoln County Lightning.
For all of those skeptics out there, Tennessee Whiskey from Prichard's is as good as the JD Single Barrel in my opinion. I am sure that there are "loyalist" who would like to take away from what he is doing and some of the big brands are nervous as well. Do yourself a favor and compare his Tennessee Whiskey to the other two guys and let the chips fall where they will. This is not a Scotch drinkers whiskey, but the Bourbon guys will get it!